Israel day 3 reflections

Day 3 kicked off back at SOSA with Michal Levy, Deputy Director General for Agriculture Innovation in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Michal presented on the Israeli startup ecosystem.

Our second session was with Amir Peleg, CEO of Takadu. TaKaDu is a leader in Integrated Event Management Solutions for the water industry with 40% of its business in Australia. TaKaDu provides water utilities with an IoT cloud based solution for managing the life-cycle of all network issues, changing the way they work to provide operational benefits and strategic insights.

The third session of the day was a round table discussion on the go to market strategy for agtech startups, with Jack Levy, a Partner at Israel Clean Tech Ventures. ICV manages over $150 million in two funds.

We broke for lunch to have some Israeli street food at Falafel Gina, before coming back for a meeting with Liron Brish, CEO of Farm Dog.

The fifth session of the day was spent with Gilad Nass, an Innovation Advisor at KPMG Israel.

The participants then had time for personal meetings before attending an event with PepsiCo’s global executives on “influencing the consumer journey”.

Lessons and insights about Israel from day 3:

  • In terms of agriculture, Israel has a shortage of natural water resources, and a scarcity of precipitation, with two-thirds of Israel defined as arid or semi-arid. They also have a shortage of “on farm labour”.  Interestingly, this adversity has helped Israel to become a global leader in agro-technologies and water technology.
  • There are an estimated 250 to 500 foodtech and agtech startups in Israel.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world, and the highest rate of entrepreneurship globally amongst women and people over 55. Israel also has very high levels of investment in R&D compared to most countries.
  • Their bank notes have braille markings, and they invented voicemail and the first antivirus software.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of sushi bars per capita globally, after Tokyo and New York.
  • Israel was the first country to ban underweight models

Quotes of the day:

  • “Ask a 4 year old in Israel what they want to be and they will say they want to be a CEO and have an exit”.

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